Double Olympic medallist Will Satch MBE announces sabbatical from rowing

Double Olympic medallist Will Satch MBE has announced that he’s taking a sabbatical from international rowing and will miss the Tokyo Olympics Games this Summer

Will is current Olympic champion after winning gold in the men’s eight at Rio 2016 and has amassed an incredible 25 international medals to his name to date.

Reflecting on his decision to take time away, Will says: “It’s been a great ten years competing for GB and I feel incredibly lucky to have worked with world-leading coaches and athletes but this isn’t the end for me, I’ll be back.

“After three operations over the past two Olympic cycles, coupled with the additional training block brought about by the delayed Games, it became clear that my body needed a rest. I love the sport but there’s no easy route to being the best and if your body isn’t up to it any more then you have to listen and give yourself time to heal.”

Will is currently in New Zealand, where his fiancé relocated last year to work as a doctor at Christchurch Public Hospital.

“I’m so incredibly proud of Zara and the long shifts she’s been putting in. Every medical professional, in every country, deserves a medal for their dedication and sacrifice over the past year. We’re lucky to be living in a covid-free country now but that doesn’t mean the hard work has stopped. I’m in awe of her, and what she does on a daily basis.

“As for what I’ll do with myself now? I’ve never been one to sit still and have been finding opportunities to share my skills here in New Zealand. I’ve joined the coaching team at Christ’s College and recently led their First VIII to a momentous victory and the biggest winning margin ever in the history of the Maadi cup.  Working with such a determined bunch of talented youngsters has re-energised my passion for the sport and will be an experience I carry with me when I return to training. I’m also looking at getting some experience coaching in other sports, particularly in rugby as the sport is such a huge part of New Zealand culture.”

Will’s teammate and double Olympian, Moe Sbihi said: “Will is such a hard worker. He’s incredibly tenacious, with grit and a will to not be beaten by anyone else. He’s also a very competitive character and I have many memories of us sitting side by side on the ergs trying to go point one faster than each other. He really came into his own in the men’s eight and there was nobody else you’d want stroking the boat when he was on form! He’s such a fun person to have around the training centre and he has an infectious sense of humour – many of his comedy phrases are still quoted around the wider team.”

Steve Trapmore, men’s eight Olympic gold medallist at Sydney 2000 and lead Men’s coach at British Rowing, who was involved in coaching Will through much of his career added: “Will has been a huge character within the GB Rowing Team having developed rapidly through the U23s and on to becoming a mainstay of the senior programme. His success on the World and Olympic stage has been inspirational to watch, especially knowing that he has had to overcome illness and injury to achieve his continued success. From one stroke man to another, watching Will lead the 2016 Rio Eight to Olympic Gold was particularly special. I would like to thank Will for all his hard work, devotion and dedication to the Team and wish him every success as he embarks on the next chapter of his life.”

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